natural headache treatmentChronic pain

Pressure Points for Headaches: Instant Headache Relief

Do you ever get headaches? Do you sometimes hesitate to pop a pill or find yourself without pain medications? I do. Therefore, I would like to share with you a technique that I find personally helpful for head and neck discomfort that you too can easily do anytime, anywhere. This techniques uses the activation of pressure points to relieve your headache symptoms and can provide instant relief.

Headache Pressure Points: How they Work

Many headaches–especially those brought on by stress, fatigue, or anxiety–are caused by tightness in the neck and facial muscles that in turn diminish local blood circulation. One way to improve this circulation is to stimulate the nerves that regulate it by applying pressure to certain areas called pressure points. Stimulation of these points helps relax tense muscles and improve blood flow, and for many people, can bring immediate relief. 

How to Use This Guide

Pressure Points for Headaches For Instant Pain Relief

The purpose of this post is to illustrate the locations of some of the “headache pressure points”—acupressure points known to be effective for the alleviation of tension and sinus headaches. While the traditional method of acupressure suggests pushing down on these pressure points for up to a minute or longer, I find that applying firm pressure with one or two fingers for 5-10 seconds, releasing, and repeating can also be effective for many people. I encourage you to spend some time playing around with this, varying the amount of pressure and duration, until you find what technique works best for you. You can even do it when you don’t have a headache, as it can help relieve tight or tense muscles and make you feel more relaxed.   

6 Pressure Points for Headaches

Pressure Points for Headaches For Instant Pain Relief

One of the most effective pressure points for headaches. The easiest way to do this is to use your index finger and your thumb (or the knuckle of your thumb), placing them under your brows and above your eye sockets, pushing in and slightly upward.

Pressure Points for Headaches For Instant Pain Relief

This  headache pressure point is located right above the bridge of your nose between your eyebrows. Applying pressure here can be helpful for sinus headaches.

Pressure Points for Headaches For Instant Pain Relief

This pressure point is located 2-3 cm below each eye. Try pressing at various points along your cheekbones.

Pressure Points for Headaches For Instant Pain Relief

This headache pressure point is located on either side of the mid-line at the level where the base of your head meets your neck. Use your hands to “grab” your head, focusing pressure from your thumbs onto this area.


This pressure point is located at the base of your skull. Find it by tilting your head back until you feel a slight indentation at the midpoint where your muscles meet. Apply pressure in and slightly upward.


This last headache pressure point is located at the base of your neck on either side of your spine. Using two or three fingers, apply pressure and gently massage in a circular motion. This is very effective for releasing neck tension.

So the next time you start to feel the discomfort coming on, before reaching for the ibuprofen, try pushing on these six headache pressure points. Your head will thank you.


*You can find more essential health tips like those presented in “Pressure Points for Headaches: Instant Pain Relief” in Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart: A personal guide to taking control of your health while living with chronic conditions, by Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH.


Phoebe Chi, MD
Phoebe Chi, MD

A physician-educator and managing editor of PhoebeMD: Health + Inspiration, Dr. Chi aims to inspire, inform, and empower the reader community. She is the author of Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart: A personal guide to taking control of your health while living with chronic conditions, a poetry-infused health guide, and founder of Pendants for a Cause, a nonprofit organization with the purpose of raising funds to fight illness, provide care, and bring awareness to medically vulnerable populations around the world.

Pendants for a Cause Charity Jewelry

85 replies »

  1. Good tips. Something interesting I’ve realized is that when I was younger I had a lot of headaches – some severe, but as I get older I don’t get as many and haven’t had a severe one in years. Not sure why. Sometimes I think it’s because I’ve learned to de-stress better and avoid my headache triggers. or perhaps now that I take better care of my health they don’t happen. Just something I muse about once in awhile.

  2. Thanks for the post, Puppy. I used to get just-mid-teens screamers and learned to massage and dark room-therapy on my own and then read about pulling the hair back in a sort-of ponytail which smoothed out the forehead. Football and rugby – and brothers – and U. S. Marine combat in Vietnam gave many an opportunity for head-knocks and aches. And I found yoga tantric breathing techniques and its silencing of both the external and internal world(s) of each mostly a blessed relief. Also, eating a handful or so of nuts, grains, fruits and veg every three or four hours kept some of those messages from beyond my neck at bay. Will reblog.

  3. I have a cat that hits those points (unintentionally mind you..) I must try to get her to do a little better job… 🙂 I will show Zelda, my cat this article and have her brush up on her massage skills 🙂 Thanks

  4. Yay! Once in a while, Mom’s medicine gives her a headache. She can’t take aspirin or Tylenol, so this is a great strategy to try! I hope she gets a headache soon…. Wait. What? NO. No headaches, please…

    Love and licks,

  5. Super information! My hubby has stenosis and often a bit of an upper neck massage helps. I printed this out for him……every little bit helps! Headaches are troublesome and distracting – anything that helps I’m UP for!

    Love, Pam

We welcome you to share...